Birthday 2008 Part 2: The Cake was not a lie

Day 2 started with me groggily getting out of bed, grabbing my work laptop and heading into the basement. An hour later, I had the network back up with access to the internet. Unfortunately, I ended up having to reset my router causing me to lose all of my security settings and MAC addresses for each laptop allowed on our network. Fortunately, I wrote most of them down in my little black book. This was followed by futzing around a bit online, checking e-mail, message boards and news sites, then starting to do a little packing.
Continue reading

Birthday 2008 Part 1: The Big Haul

Year to year, I have to admit, I’ve had some pretty good birthdays.

Part of this might be due to summer weather or no school or one of a dozen other reasons.

Last year kind of sucked. Things were pretty busy and I didn’t think about it until it was too late to plan anything. Rather than do nothing at home by myself on my birthday, I just figured I’d come into work. It didn’t occur to me how many people on the team would be on vacation or that most of the rest would forget, but work I did that day with little to no mention of a birthday. I ended up needing to stay late to work on something to top it all off.

Not this year. This year I promised myself something better. In talks with Davidson, he had mentioned a friend of his doing a variation of a pub crawl, but something slightly more geeky. Geek happens to be my specialty. About a month ahead of time, I sent an email out to all of my very geeky friends. I outlined a two day event of epic proportions to herald this grand celebration of my birth.

On Saturday, August 16th, we would go to Randolph and catch a movie and from there move along the Red Line hitting up the New England Comics in Quincy and Harvard Sq., Newbury Comics in its multiple locations and top it off with Comikazi in Davis Square. Afterwards, we would grab some dinner and retire for the night.

On Sunday the 17th (my actual birthday), we would get an early morning toy run to Toy Vault in before heading back to the house, where we would then play Mario Kart Wii, Smash Bros. Brawl and Rock Band until all hours of the night while grilling up some food.

Things didn’t go quite according to plan.
Continue reading

Back from Otakon 2008

I am back in Boston and exhausted from my long weekend in Baltimore. Otakon 2008 was a blast. I really had a good time. It was great to meet up with everyone and see all the costumes, panels, anime and stuff to buy this year. I’ll try to get some pictures up tomorrow. No promises on timing for a write up of the weekend. I am home, but now the race is on to pack and get ready for the big move on September 1st.

It should also be noted that as I was walking out the door on Thursday to leave, Davidson convinced me to bring the tube despite the extra baggage fees. As it turned out, Joaquin ended up taking his luggage as a carry on and checking in my tube.

Airline Fee'd

Today we leave for Baltimore. Peg, Joaquin, Brendan, and myself will be flying down and meeting up with aDam and Janine (the Canadians) and Brenna, Ruth, and Mas (the upstate New York contingent) and will be attending Otakon tomorrow. Otakon is the largest anime convention on the east coast. Approximately 23,000 attendees each year. Quite large.

I don’t leave for about another hour and ten minutes, though. Naturally I’m spending that time furiously packing my luggage since didn’t do enough of that last night. Unfortunately, with the economy the way it is and the gas prices the way they are, it was brought to my attention this week that airlines (even more of them now) are still charging for checked in baggage. We’ll be flying AirTran. I had Joaquin look up what the policy is and he found this website,

Airline Fee\'d

AirTran is charging US$20 for a second piece of luggage to check in. Thats US$40 for both ways. This means I’m not bringing a second piece of luggage. This also means that I can’t bring the wooden sword that is part of my costume since the tube I carry it in is too large to be a carry on and would be considered a second checked item. The sword is the most recognizable part of my costume and is really what other people see and immediately associate with my character. I would categorize this as ‘sucking big time’.

The sad thing is, looking at that chart, AirTran appears to charge the least of any of the carriers, while American Airlines makes no misconceptions as they tell you to grab your ankles and think of Christmas.

Toying with the idea

I have this semi-new self-imposed rule that I have to take a picture of any new toys in package before I open it. This is for several reasons. It gives me less incentive to hold on to the packaging for future reference. It also allows me to build an easy to access image archive of toys I own. At the moment, its fairly unorganized and while I do have plans for them in the future, there is no immediate need to organize them. Naturally I’m not going to be motivated to do this without a valid need to do so. Along these lines, I’ve also been considering just uploading them to this site’s gallery for more content. This would also give me the added incentive to organize the collection of images.

One of the downsides to my system is that the boxed and carded toys tend to stack up in large piles before I get the opportunity to actually photograph and open them. I have never been forced to notice this to such a degree that I have been forced to open nearly everything that I don’t already have open, until recently. As I slowly pack my room for my move September 1st, I am only just now realizing just how many toys I never got around to opening. Its a truly staggering revelation.

Time to go open some more toys and immediately pack them.